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14 October 2019

The Heavenly Celebration – (Revelation 19:1-10)


John is shown New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb
The book of Revelation now provides a detailed description of and justification for the destruction of Babylon, the “great city.” Her downfall is the product of the hatred of the “ten horns” allied with the Beast in their God-driven campaign to desolate and “burn her utterly with fire” (Revelation 17:16).
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(Revelation 19:1-4) – “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And, again, they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia” [Source:  The Emphasized Bible].

13 October 2019

The Destruction of Babylon – (Revelation 18:9-24)


Siege of Tyre in 333 B.C. - Public Domain
The book of Revelation now provides a detailed description of and justification for the destruction of Babylon, the “great city.” Her downfall is the product of the hatred of the “ten horns” allied with the Beast in their God-driven campaign to desolate and “burn her utterly with fire” (Revelation 17:16).
The stress falls on two main deeds of the Harlot: her involvement in world commerce and her “sorcery,” the latter manifested in her persecution of the saints. The description of Babylon’s fall draws heavily on passages from Jeremiah and Ezekiel with judgment pronouncements against the ancient cities of Babylon and Tyre, respectively, both of which depended heavily on maritime trade for their prosperity (Jeremiah 50-51, Ezekiel 26-27).

12 October 2019

Babylon the Great is Fallen – (Revelation 18:1-8)


God's people worshiping the Golden Calf
John now sees a different angel descending from heaven, presumably, not one of the angels from the series of seven bowls of wrath. This angel has “great authority” with which he announces the fall of Babylon and describes her ritual pollution by demonic spirits. This is followed by a voice summoning God’s people to separate from the Great Harlot, otherwise, they will taste of her plagues.
(Revelation 18:1-8) – “After these things, I saw another messenger coming down out of heaven, — having great authority; and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying — Fallen! fallen! is Babylon the Great, and hath become a habitation of demons and a prison of every impure spirit, and a prison of every impure and hated bird; Because by reason [of the wine] of the wrath of her lewdness, have all the nations fallen, and the kings of the earth with her did commit lewdness, and the merchants of the earth, by reason of the power of her wantonness, waxed rich. And I heard another voice out of heaven, saying — Come forth, my people, out of her, — that ye may have no fellowship with her sins, and of her plagues that ye may not receive; because her sins were joined together as far as heaven, and God hath remembered her unrighteous deeds. Render ye unto her as she, also, rendered, and double [the] double, according to her works, — in the cup wherein she mixed, mix unto her double, — As much as she glorified herself and waxed wanton, so much give unto her torment and grief: — because, in her heart, she saith — I sit a Queen and widow am I not, and grief in nowise shall I see!” [Source:  The Emphasized Bible].

11 October 2019

The Lamb overcomes the Harlot – (Revelation 17:14-18)


Ancient Babylon
The next paragraph provides John with the interpretation of what he has just seen. The “Harlot” is the “great city” that reigns over the political powers of the earth in alliance with the Beast. Her persecution of the saints is an extension of the Dragon’s war against the Lamb. But, inevitably, the Lamb will overcome the Beast, the Harlot, and the “kings of the earth” but in a most ironic fashion.

10 October 2019

The Beast that carries the Harlot – (Revelation 17:7-13)

Babylon rides the Beast from the Sea
This next paragraph describes the Beast on which the Great Harlot Babylon sits. It is the same Beast that John saw ascending from the sea, a creature that was an amalgamation of all four of the beasts that Daniel saw ascending from the sea. The book of Revelation now presents the “lineage” of the Beast and its destiny, with imagery from the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision, especially that latter’s “little horn.” The last incarnation of the Beast comes from a long history of beastly powers, a creature that transcends human history, though this will be the last of the line (Daniel 7:1-8, 15-26, Revelation 13:1-3).

07 October 2019

The Great Harlot Revealed – (Revelation 17:1-6)


The Great Harlot, Babylon
The book of Revelation presents an impressive female figure, Babylon the Great. She is identified as a “harlot” and a “great city,” and she is linked to the violent deaths of the martyrs or “witnesses” of Jesus, including his own martyrdom. That she is called a “city” means she is not a literal woman. She is also tied to the deceptive efforts of the Dragon. The first audience of the book would have connected her with the city of Rome.
The book now begins its third major division, here marked by John once more finding himself “in the spirit” and taken to a specific location from which he sees the next vision (Revelation 17:3-5. Cp. 1:10, 4:1-2, 21:9-11). This division begins in Revelation 17:1 and continues through Chapter 20.